Barry Hawkins emerged from the opening session of his Betfred World Championship quarter-final with Ding Junhui 5-3 ahead.
Hawkins was made to fight for his last eight spot by Ding’s Chinese compatriot Lyu Haotian. The talented 20-year-old came from 7-3 to level at 10-10. The Hawk then soared to three straight frames to come through 13-10 and he appears to have carried that form over.
Ding’s passage was more straightforward, he defeated Anthony McGill 13-4 in the second round. The 13-time ranking event winner is looking to progress to the semi-final stage for a third consecutive year as he steps up his bid to become Asia’s first ever World Champion.
Hawkins assumed the role of front runner this morning and was never behind. He composed breaks of 64, 82, 50 and 60 as he opened up a two-frame gap at 5-3. They will resume with the middle session of the best-of-25 encounter this evening at 7pm.
Mark Allen and Kyren Wilson ended a high quality opening session of their last eight clash tied at 4-4.
They are meeting for the first time since contesting the Masters final in January. That proved to be an emotional clash, with both players aiming to pick up their maiden Triple Crown title. On that occasion it was Allen who took home the trophy thanks to a 10-7 victory.
There are similar stakes in today’s meeting, with Allen aiming to reach a Crucible semi-final for just the second time, and the first since 2009. Wilson is making his third consecutive quarter-final appearance and is bidding to reach the one-table setup at snooker’s Theatre of Dreams for the first time.
In a high scoring morning of snooker, it was Allen who took the first frame with a break of 60. Runs of 52 and 125 from Wilson helped him to take the lead at 2-1, then Allen levelled by winning frame four on the final black.
Wilson took two of the next three frames with runs of 90 and 83, then Allen took the last of the session with a break of 78. They will also resume at 7pm.